6,400 Satyam employees quit since September

Satyam Computer Services, which is in search of a new owner, has around 46,600 employees
on its rolls now. Nearly 6,400 employees quit the IT firm after September last year, when the company claimed a headcount of 53,000.

Satyam’s suitors have been given information on the validated headcount during the due diligence of the assets of the beleaguered IT firm, people familiar with the development said. Engineering firm Larsen & Toubro, IT services firm Tech Mahindra and a private equity firm are among the seven to eight shortlisted bidders, who have started the due diligence.

These bidders were told that the employee attrition in Satyam was around 12% over the past six months. Of the 6,400-odd employees, who quit the firm, nearly half were on business-wait (people on the bench). Kiran Karnik, chairman of the government-appointed Satyam board, was recently on record to say that employee attrition in the firm was not alarming despite the prevailing situation.

Satyam plunged into a crisis after its disgraced founder B Ramalinga Raju admitted to perpetrating a Rs 7,000-crore financial fraud. Investigating agencies probing into the scam reckoned that Raju could have fudged employee numbers to siphon-off money from the firm. The government-appointed board, which took charge of the firm after Raju’s confession in January this year, decided to re-validate the employee count. Senior company officials had claimed a headcount of 51,000 in January 2009. This means around 4,500 employees quit over the last two months, going by the latest headcount now of 46,600. Around one-fifth of the total number of employees are on-site staff.

But a few bidders, for acquiring a majority stake in Satyam such as iGate, have chosen to stay away from the bidding war on concerns of employee attrition, client attrition, falling revenues, dwindling margins and unknown legal liabilities in the US. Satyam is now internally looking at discounting its reported revenues by 10-15% in accounts that are in the process of being re-stated.


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